Giving Illegals Access to Welfare ‘An Assault on the U.S. Taxpayer’

by PENNY STARR May 30, 2013

The Senate immigration legislation that includes access to federal entitlement programs for illegal aliens after a waiting period is a "travesty" and "an assault on the U.S. taxpayer," Robert Rector, senior research fellow on domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation, said an event on Wednesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center. asked Rector and other panelists at the discussion about past U.S. immigration policy when immigrants coming into the country were required to show that they could earn a livelihood and would not become a ward of the state.

Rector said in the current welfare state, no one is considered a "public charge" but rather a person in need of government assistance.

"The difference is at the time of Ellis Island we didn't have a $2 trillion redistributive state," Rector said, adding that the government spends almost a trillion dollars a year helping poor people with 80 different federal assistance programs.

Giving 11 million illegal aliens access to government entitlements is wrong, Rector said.

"We can barely afford to do that for U.S.-born citizens and for legal immigrants," he said. "But to try to apply this massive system of redistribution to people whose only claim to U.S. taxpayer resources is that they came here and broke the law, I think that's a travesty, and I think it's an assault on the U.S. taxpayer that's unmerited."


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